What are the different grades of racecourse?

What are the different grades of racecourse? In Britain, unlike the hotel rating system, the grading system for racecourses does not involve annual inspections or assessment of cleanliness, facilities, hospitality and so on. Each British racecourse is simpled graded 1, 2, 3 or 4, according to the amount of money it receives, annually, from the Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB). The HBLB, as the name suggests, collects 10% of bookmakers’ gross annual profits, above £500,000, as the Horserace Betting Levy.

Depending on the amount of prize money contributed by the racecourse executive and the amount of betting turnover generated, off-course, over a rolling three-year period, each racecourse receives an annual grant from the HBLB. This General Prize Fund (GPF) grant, is what ultimately determines the grading of the racecourse. Grade One racecourses, such as Ascot, Newmarket, Aintree and Cheltenham, stage the most valuable, prestigious races of the season. At the other end of the scale, Grade Four racecourses, such as Brighton, Chepstow, Hamilton and Redcar, offer meagre fare, in terms of prize money, but nonetheless competitive racing, in a relaxed environment at affordable prices.

How many female jockeys have won Royal Ascot races?

How many female jockeys have won Royal Ascot races? It’s often stated that the history of Royal Ascot dates back over 300 years but, in all that time, just three female jockeys have ridden a winner at the Royal meeting. Back in the days when, as she put it, ‘it was particularly snobby…and a woman riding at Royal Ascot was unheard of’, Gay Kelleway was the first to do so. In 1987, she took advantage of testing conditions by adopting catch-me-if-you-can tactics on confirmed mudlark Sprowston Boy, trained by her late father, Paul, to win the Queen Alexandra Stakes.

Remarkably, though, it was not until 2019 that Hayley Turner partnered the aptly-named Thanks Be to a narrow victory in the Sandringham Stakes to join Gay Kelleway on the Royal Ascot roll of honour. Lo and behold, the following year she won the same race again on Onassis, who was trained, like Thanks Be, by Charlie Fellowes. The following day, in the style of ‘London buses’, rising star Hollie Doyle partnered Scarlet Dragon, trained by Alan King, to victory in the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes, thereby becoming the third female jockey in history to ride a Royal Ascot winner.

What are Rule 4 deductions?

What are Rule 4 deductions? ‘Rule 4’ is a general, industry-standard rule of betting, which allows bookmakers to legitimately make deductions from winning bets in the event that one or more horses are withdrawn from the race in question. If you place a win or each-way bet and take an early or board price, the odds you receive obviously reflect the chance, in the eyes of the bookmaker, your selection holds against the other horses in the race at the time you place the bet. If one of the other horses is withdrawn, the chances of your selection increase, so to prevent you having an unfair advantage, the bookmaker makes a so-called ‘Rule 4 deduction’ from your winnings, consummate with the price of the withdrawn horse at the time of withdrawal.

If a withdrawn horse was offered at odds longer than 14/1, no Rule 4 deduction is made. Thereafter, deductions are made at all rates from £0.05 in £1.00 for horses offered at odds between 10/1 and 14/1 right up to £0.90 in £1.00 for horses offered at prohibitive odds of 1/9 or shorter. Obviously, horses may be withdrawn at differing times, possibly leading to two, three or more Rule 4 deductions, depending on their respective odds. However, the maximum cumulative deduction on any race is £0.90 in £1.00.

Was Sir Gordon Richards the greatest jockey of all time?

Was Sir Gordon Richards the greatest jockey of all time? ‘Greatest’ is obviously a subjective term, but few would disagree that Sir Gordon Richards was one of the greatest jockeys and, arguably, the greatest jockey, of all time. Born in Shropshire in 1904, Richards was the first jockey to ride 4,000 winners and, upon his retirement in 1954, his career total of 4,870 winners was, at the time, a world record and remains a British record. Indeed, in the 1947 season alone, Richards rode 269 winners, thereby setting another record, which would stand until 2002, when broken by Sir Anthony McCoy.

McCoy, who rode 289 winners in the 2001/02 National Hunt season, later reflected on his career, saying, ‘Breaking Sir Gordon Richards’ record will always be my greatest achievement, nothing is even close.’

All told, Richards rode for 34 seasons, between 1921 and 1954, and became Champion Jockey on a record 26 occasions. In 1953, he was knighted in recognition of his services to horse racing – making him the first jockey to be conferred such an honour – and celebrated by winning the Derby for the one and only time, after 27 previous attempts, on Pinza. Lester Piggott, one of the few jockeys worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as Sir Gordon Richards, rode the first of his record nine Derby winners, Never Say Die, the following year.

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